Wen Jiabao

Beijing, Moscow plan regular meetings to expand ties

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2007, 12:00am

The premiers of China and Russia drafted details for regular meetings between their heads of government during talks in Moscow yesterday.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov received Premier Wen Jiabao at the Russian White House to preside over the closing of the 2007 Year of China in Russia - an event aimed at promoting interest in Chinese culture and development among Russians.

Mr Wen also met Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders pledged even closer co-operation between the two nations, which have developed a strategic partnership over the years.

China and Russia swung between being close allies and bitter rivals last century, but have fostered strong ties in recent years based on shared interests. The leaders yesterday pledged to work even more closely in areas where their interests converged and endorsed a new border friendship plan, due to be carried out from 2009 to 2012.

Mr Zubkov said he and Mr Wen drafted a summary document on the mechanisms for regular meetings between their heads of government.

Mr Wen also spoke with Mr Putin for two hours on Monday night on military co-operation and regional issues.

After the meeting, Mr Wen said the past decade had been the best period in the two countries' relations.

'We didn't even use prepared speeches,' Mr Wen said.

Russia is Mr Wen's last stop on a five-day tour of the region.